Author Archives: Uncle John's Bathroom Reader

The CIA’s Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test That Went Horribly Wrong

The following is an article from Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader For decades rumors have swirled around the CIA’s testing of lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) in the 1960s. In seeking a knockout drug weapon, did the CIA slip substances to unsuspecting patsies? The answer is yes. And Frank Olson was the man who paid the heaviest price. BEHIND CLOSED DOORS The […]

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Stranger than Fiction

The following is an article from Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader WITH FRIENDS LIKE THESE… In 2008 a health spa in Zneleznovodsk, Russia, dedicated a statue to an important member of its team: the enema. “We administer enemas nearly every day,” said spa administrator Alexander Kharchenko. “So I thought, why not give it a monument?” They commissioned local artist Svetlana Avakina […]

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The Curious Case of Taiwan’s #2 Restaurant

The following is an article from Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader POO-BOT You’ve probably never heard of the Japanese comic-book character Arale Norimaki. She’s a purple-haired robot teenager whose favorite hobby is “poking poop with a stick.” Arale Norimaki has a huge following not just in Japan, but in other parts of Asia as well, including Taiwan. That’s where, in 2004, […]

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Behind the Hits: Soundtrack Cuts

The following is an article from Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader Movie soundtracks have long generated popular songs, from “Stayin’ Alive” to “Whistle While You Work,” to “Goldfinger” and hundreds more. Here are the origins of a few more soundtrack hits. Movie: Titanic Song: “My Heart Will Go On” Story: While making his $200-million movie in the mid-1990s, director James Cameron […]

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The Moon Trees

The following is an article from Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader “Scattered around our planet are hundreds of creatures that have been to the Moon and back again. None of them are human.”—NASA ORBITAL ORCHARD On January 31, 1971, Apollo 14 lifted off from Cape Canaveral, Florida, launching astronauts Edgar Mitchell, Alan Shepard, and Stuart Roosa to the moon. Roosa, an […]

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Wizards of War

The following is an article from Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader To help win World War II, the Allies used every skill they could come up with—including illusion, trickery…and magic. WIZARD SCHOOL In 1940 Britain’s Ministry of Home Security created a military unit dedicated to “civil camouflage.” Their job would be to provide safety through “seriously ridiculous deception.” The unit of […]

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The Ford Model K

The following is an article from Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader We’ve all heard of the Ford Model T—but we rarely hear about the earlier automobiles in the whole “model-letter” scheme. So hear you go… ALPHABET CITY In 1908, the Ford Motor Company, founded by Henry Ford just five years earlier, released its first Ford Model T—and the world has never […]

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Mr. Toilet

The following is an article from Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader Sim Jae-duck is probably the only person in history who was born in a toilet, lived in a toilet, and died in one, too. Here’s his fascinating story. HELLO, WORLD In 1996, FIFA, soccer’s international governing body, awarded the 2002 World Cup to co-hosts South Korea and Japan. It had […]

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Making Science Cool Since 1974

The following is an article from Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader When PBS executives started planning a new science show in the early 1970s, people in the TV business were baffled. A show about…science? Were they crazy? Audiences wanted Happy Days and M*A*S*H*, not educational shows! Luckily for us, they were wrong. IN THE BEGINNING… In 1971 an American television producer […]

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The Polish Schindlers

The following is an article from Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader You’ve probably heard of Oskar Schindler, the German industrialist who saved the lives of 1,200 Jews during the Holocaust. Here’s a story you probably haven’t heard—about two men who pulled off a similar miracle in Poland. OCCUPATION Dr. Eugene Lazowski was a young Red Cross physician living in the village […]

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Dustbin of History: The Ground Observer Corps

The following is an article from Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader SHOCK WAVE In September 1949, a U.S. Air Force reconnaissance plane flying over the North Pacific from Japan to Alaska detected levels of radioactivity in the atmosphere at least 20 times above normal. Other planes in the Pacific reported similar observations in the days that followed; elevated radiation levels were […]

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